Members not only looked at what people wore in the past but had to work out what parts of them and their clothes might remain for an archaeologist to find.
As well as this they also decided what bits of their “costume” – what they came to YAC dressed in – might be left for archaeologists of the future to find. What would be left of what YOU are wearing today? Our members rightly worked out that perhaps the zips from jackets, buttons from trousers, plastic on trainers and even their glasses may well survive.
They also decided that it isn’t just what is buried but WHERE it is buried, as different soils and climates affect how artefacts are preserved. Good examples of this are the so called ‘bog bodies’, such as Tollund Man, the completely preserved body of a man found in a fen (another word for a bog or marsh) in Denmark and thought to be about 2000 years old! He survived because bogs are such wet places that the bacteria that would normally cause him to decay can not survive.
To find out more about him why not check out this web page (you will need the free Adobe Acrobat PDF Reader to view this. Visit the BBC Webwise website to find out how this works):
But it is not just very wet places, very dry places also preserve things well, such as pieces of papyrus (a type of paper made from reeds and grass) with Egyptian hieroglyphs written on them. In the dry deserts of Egypt the papyrus literally dries out becoming very fragile, but with proper care and attention they can be preserved and translated to tell us more about Egyptian life thousands of years ago.
To find out more why not check out this web page:
Members spent the last part of the session making archaeological and historical costumes of their own, here’s what they came up with: